#Manukau City Centre – The Transform – A Series. #3: The Project Plan

Panuku presents the Manukau High Level Project Plan


Tomorrow at the Auckland Development Committee Panuku Development Auckland will be presenting the draft Manukau High Level Project Plan for endorsement. Meaning once the Committee has endorsed (approved) the Recommendations around the HLPP then Panuku can get under way developing the formal:

  1. The Manukau Framework Plan (master plan)
  2. The Engagement and Community Plan (how to engage with us)
  3. The Implementation Plan (what gets implemented, when and how much)
  4. Early place making and activation


You can read the full report and the draft High Level Project Plan below:


I have read the full paper front to back and I must say that is some very fine work put together by Panuku. While I wonder if Panuku was lifting some blog material given I have advocated on Manukau since 2011 (Auckland Plan submissions) Panuku outline the vision, challenges and opportunities for the Manukau Transform program. And it is not going to be a cake walk ever with some 600 hectares “zoned” for urban renewal over the next thirty years as part of this transform (in comparison the City Centre (excluding Ports of Auckland) is 345ha in size).

Manukau Project area Source: Panuku Development Auckland
Manukau Project area
Source: Panuku Development Auckland


Manukau Transform Project area Source: Panuku Development Auckland
Manukau Transform Project area
Source: Panuku Development Auckland


As you can see not only is Panuku covering Manukau City Centre itself but also Manukau (the residential area to the south) Puhinui to the north, part of Otara to the east and eastern flanks of Wiri (the industrial complex).


Remembering the Vision for Manukau is: Manukau – The Thriving Heart and Soul of the South.


Some of the more important comments around the Manukau Transform program:


The Challenge

  1. Manukau is a disconnected regional centre designed with a car based layout and anchored by large scale facilities. Private sector investors and businesses have had limited opportunity to contribute to the central area with new uses and activities.
  2. There are limited local residents and ancillary neighbourhood facilities in the central area. Despite Manukau being at the centre of a high demand and broad growth area, the central area itself, given that it is surrounded by industry, large format retail and motorways, combined with poor perceptions of safety and the lower socio-economic status of the surrounding residential catchment, have rendered development financially challenging. Recent developments, many led by the public sector, have lacked overall cohesion. In short the centre has failed to present a strong identity to the region as a desirable Metropolitan Centre of scale and significance in which to invest.

The opportunity

  1. Manukau has significant scale and historic status as a City Centre. Together with an enabling planning framework as the third largest Metropolitan Centre in Auckland, and significant Council property holdings, means it is well placed to physically deliver quality regeneration at scale and pace.
  2. Council has a current total land holding of approximately 95ha within the project area. Approximately 20 ha of this are potentially developable in the immediate and near term, with a combined current rating assessment land value of approximately $100m. This value has a wide value range and is conservative as it assessed from 2013 and is prior to value creation and the transformation process. Service properties and their potential value, if any, will be considered through the framework planning phase.
  3. Council can utilise its significant landholdings and facilities to bring about effective and coherent urban regeneration through disposal, development partnerships, or optimisation of these properties. Manukau is strongly connected to the transport network by all modes and is the closest centre to Auckland Airport, which presents a significant opportunity. Finally, Manukau has infrastructure that has capacity to deliver on development opportunities that other new growth areas are struggling to address in a timely manner.


  1. Manukau: The Thriving Heart and Soul of the South
  2. Manukau metropolitan centre becomes the thriving heart of our area: an attractive visitor destination, business centre and place to shop, live, learn, work and play.
  3. A set of aspirational outcomes and core principles below provide a platform for the key strategies to transform Manukau and will guide future project initiatives that will be recommended through the framework planning phase.

Outcomes and benefits of transformation

  1. Urban regeneration of this scale will bring benefits and outcomes that will position Manukau as a strong, competitive and complementary Metropolitan Centre to the City Centre. Potential outcomes and benefits include;
  2. A colourful, vibrant, family friendly centre with a local heart, that reflects and celebrates our diverse cultures
  3. A strong, permanent, residential population which lives, learns and works within the centre
  4. New uses and activities that will support the centre’s emerging evening and weekend economy
  5. Hayman Park and Puhinui Stream becoming attractive, safe and accessible green lungs
  6. Manukau becoming a thriving visitor destination of choice
  7. The centre being reconnected to the south: its local people, anchors and neighbourhoods (Maori, Pasifika, Events Centre, Wero and Wiri)
  8. A desirable and innovative place to do business that promotes and stimulates local enterprise and attracts new investment
  9. The involvement of the local people in the urban regeneration process contributing to new community benefits and improved socio-economic well-being.

Principles in undertaking transformation:

  1. All aspects of the project planning, design, engagement and implementation will consider these principles through each aspect and work programme:
  • Governance: Establish a strong, inclusive and accountable governance structure which includes community engagement, framework planning, partnering with other parts of Council and Crown entities
  • Transit–oriented development: Guide Manukau Central towards becoming an exemplar Transit Oriented Development that fully capitalises on the Metropolitan Centre zone
  • Market Attractiveness: Change and improve the perception of Manukau by leading the market in consolidating the centre.
  • Integrated & partnership approach: Holistic transformation through coherent and integrated strategies, projects and outcomes in partnership with the community, organisations and Crown entities.
  • Socio-economic well-being: Contribute to increasing and improving the social and economic well-being of the local area’s people, businesses and communities to unlock economic potential and reduce social assistance needs
  • Think local: Focus urban regeneration and community development towards “thinking local” with emphasis on developing a local heart for Manukau reflected by building to a human scale.


Source: http://infocouncil.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/Open/2016/04/AUC_20160414_AGN_6414_AT_SUP_WEB.HTM


Manukau is not the only city centre cut off by motorways given the main City Centre is surrounded by them on three sides and the harbour on the fourth.


Below is the funding strategy to kick-start the transformation program. The strategy further highlights what the four starting goals are that I mentioned at the beginning of this post:

Project related budgets

  1. The plan recommends an operating budget of $1.9m to take the project to the completion of the implementation and development realisation planning and is broken down as follows:

Framework Plan – $810,000 (to end of implementation planning, 2016/17 FY)

  1. The internal (including wider Council) contribution in terms of person hours is estimated at 3500 person hours, which equates to approximately $380,000 using internal charge out rates.  The external consultant support required is estimated at approximately 1720 person hours or $380,000 (based on an average hourly fee of $220).  Additionally, there is estimated to be $50k of fixed/sundry costs such as for photography, document printing, room hire etc.  The total financial cost to Panuku of the Framework Plan excluding internal resource is $430,000.

Engagement, Communications Plan – $170,000 (to end of implementation planning, 2016/17 FY)

  1. This amount covers Stakeholder engagement and communications activities during the HLPP phase and planning for the framework planning phase immediately post Council sign-off. Specifically the amount includes: the creation of an engagement plan, iwi engagement, engagement workshops (internal and external), a community event, communications material and the development of a repositioning strategy. This amount includes Panuku staff time (approximately 510 hours) and ancillary consultant fees.

Work by the Strategy team – $90,000 (to end of implementation planning, 2016/17 FY)

  1. The internal (including wider Council) contribution in terms of person hours is estimated at 350 person hours, which equates to approximately $42,000 using internal charge out rates.  The external consultant support required is estimated at approximately 180 person hours or $40,000 (based on an average hourly fee of $220).  Additionally, there is estimated to be $8000 for a 5% contingency and some fixed/sundry costs such as catering, van and room hire, document printing etc.
  2. These funds are anticipated to be used to procure advice and information on generating targets, KPI’s and goals to underpin the community, housing, branding and place strategies. This will support the framework and feasibility planning process. This budget includes advice on value creation and a contingency for external advice as needed.

Work by the Development team – $350,000 (to end of implementation planning, 2016/17 FY)

  1. Pre-capitalisation funding of $350,000 is over seven sites and comprises of an estimated 1044 internal council person hours (which equates to $125,000 using internal charge out rates). External consultant support providing an estimated 944 person hours or $207,000 (based on an average hourly fee of $220).  Additionally, there is estimated to be 5% contingency $15,000 which includes of fixed/sundry costs such as for photography, document printing etc.

Early place making – $480,000 (until end of June 2017)

  1. This budget, which includes 471 internal staff hours, is intended to initiate Panuku’s early presence in Manukau. It will ensure that the process of transformation is underway during framework and implementation planning, in the short term as well as in the medium and long term. The projects and initiatives in this budget will help to plan, design and initiate place making such as events, art installations, interactive, creative spaces and an early activity calendar. This could also include tactical urbanism and “gap filler” projects. However the majority of the budget would enable the construction of temporary structures to use in various places and spaces around the central area and allow them to cater for food, beverage and event/engagement facilities as necessary. This place making budget will add value by activating and enlivening the bus station construction works area and provide messaging and signage of the Transform Manukau vision and objectives. This messaging could contribute to building excitement and potentially help to activate the empty spaces and reduce the poor perception of safety and crime.


Source: Auckland Council


Once the budget is in place and the plans drawn up Panuku have their sights set on the Davis Avenue axis as the first stage of the Transform program:

Indicative staging: “Start with the Heart”, Davies Ave Axis, Puhinui Corridor

The HLPP recommends a high level staging approach: –

  1. First and near term stage –  ‘Start with the Heart’, the centre of Manukau, to leverage off existing public and private investments,  and to take advantage of Council’s strong, well located property portfolio in close proximity to amenities and transport options. It is recommended that the short term projects within the centre be those located along the Davies Avenue axis, and those responding to current projects such as the bus station and Kotuku House refurbishment. Each of these projects requires investigation as to their integration within the wider transformation and alignment with its objectives.
  2. During the near terms stages focus effort over SH20 into Barrowcliffe as an exemplar and perception-shifting project. This will forge the critical cross motorway link, and act as a catalyst to further development along the Puhinui Stream corridor (Te Araroa trail). This second stage will require collaborative planning and development with Crown entities including Housing New Zealand (HNZ) and the District Health Board’s (DHB) Super Clinic 49ha site.
  3. In parallel, work with Westfield and the Sports Bowl to refocus efforts north of the centre will be ongoing.  The latter stages of development will then focus on the Ronwood Avenue /Cavendish Drive area, once market perceptions, planning, engagement and the readiness of redevelopment of private land becomes more favourable.
Davis Avenue potential axis Source: Panuku
Davis Avenue potential axis
Source: Panuku


Source: Panuku and Auckland Council


The Staging:

Manukau Indicitive staging Source: Panuku Development Auckland
Manukau Indicitive staging
Source: Panuku Development Auckland


So why is Panuku undertaking this?

Strategic and Panuku business context

  1. Manukau is at the centre of significant interagency focus and collaboration through The Southern Initiative (TSI), its designation as a Spatial Priority Area (SPA) of Auckland Council, a Panuku Transform location and the pilot focus area for an emerging workstream know as Manukau Collaborative Development at Scale (CDAS), a shared Panuku, Council and Crown initiative. The project area is home to around 6000 residents and 20,000 workers. It has benefited from significant investment both historically and in more recent time includes the new state-of-the-art Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) education campus building and trenched Manukau train station, the Vodafone Events Centre, the new Wero White Water project and the planned Manukau bus interchange.
  2. Previous planning for Manukau Central has been extensive. It has long been identified as a key location for growth and development and is a major metropolitan/sub-regional centre (a CBD of the south). However it has underperformed and not realised its potential. It is clear that transformation will not happen by the market forces, liberal planning regulation or advocacy alone. A public sector intervention and urban regeneration, renewal and housing process is required to respond to the range of issues and challenges facing Manukau central and its surrounding Wiri suburban area to the south which comprises the main project area.
  3. As set out in the Statement of Intent, Panuku is charged with leading urban transformation and regeneration, facilitating vibrant development and accommodating growth.
  4. The organisation’s vision is “Shaping Spaces for Aucklanders to love”.


Source: Auckland Council


Yeah thanks Panuku; if it wasn’t for tireless advocacy including fronting up to Committees year in year out since 2011, fronting up to Unitary Plan Hearings and writing all those submissions and blog posts I wonder where the Manukau Transform would be today? This is what the advocacy has been all about; to get that public sector intervention to kick-start urban renewal in Auckland’s biggest Metropolitan Centre as well as second City Centre by name.


Any way the report is pretty thorough by Panuku but I am sure Councillors will have questions come Thursday at the Committee.


Manukau City Centre Source: Auckland Plan Implementation Update 2015
Manukau City Centre
Source: Auckland Plan Implementation Update 2015